Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Hasso Plattner

Trends and Concepts II

General Information

  • Lecturer: Prof. Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner
  • Teaching support: Martin Boissier, Stefan Klauck, Franziska Häger
  • 6 ECTS (graded)
  • Initial seminar introduction: Oct 15, 2014 at 5.00 PM (House D, E-9/10)
  • Enrollment until Oct 31, 2014. The contents of this lecture is new to a large extent, so students who have participated in earlier versions of this lecture may participate again.
  • Schedule:
    • First hands-on exercise:Nov 5, 2014 at 1.30 PM (House D, E-9/10)
    • Design thinking workshop: Nov 20/21, 2014 (D-School HPI main building)
    • Intermediate presentations: Feb 02, 2015
    • Block seminar: Feb 16, 2015 - Feb 19, 2015 (D-School HPI main building)
    • Documentation deadline: March 20, 2015

Exploiting Point-of-Sales Data

The topic of this year's trends and concept seminar is "Exploiting Point-of-Sales Data". Besides the typical activities in the seminar as the design thinking workshop and the block seminar lead by Prof. Plattner, there will be a practical part this year. In the practical exercises, you will use machine learning / data mining on real productive data of a large retailer in order to gain new insights. The main challenge for you will be "how to improve the shopping experience both for the customer as well as for the retailer?". A presentation from another project at the EPIC chair that has already worked with point-of-sales data can be found here: POS Explorer

About The Course

This lecture will be held in a Stanford-like teaching approach. The course is composed of two interwoven parts: Technological discussions and a design thinking project. The idea is to look into immutable concepts illustrated by real world examples. Topics related to the contents of Prof. Plattner's lecture "Trends and Concepts in the Software Industry I" will be taken up and reflected upon. The participation in "Trends and Concepts in the Software Industry I" is recommended as a preparation for this lecture, but not mandatory. From the design perspective, topics include the design thinking process, innovation and prototyping methodologies, need finding, human factors, and team dynamics. Participants experience a design thinking project embedded in the technological topics of this course. The seminar schedule consists of the following:

  • We start with a 2-day design thinking workshop at the end of November where the basics of the design thinking methodology will be taught and applied in the context of our challenge. Students will experience a fast forward move through the design thinking process thereby establishing confidence in this process to go out to real company contacts and conduct interviews.
  • The above mentioned interviews and following brainstorming, need finding and prototyping sessions will be scheduled individually per team and compose the second part of the seminar.
  • The third part of the seminar comprises the block lecture with Hasso Plattner where ideas and prototypes will be tested and finalized through more interview sessions. The lecture concludes with the documentation of the prototype.

This year's challenge will look into the next generation of retail systems from a user centric perspective as well as a store centric perspective and with the background of new technologies.

Learning Experience

Participants will

  • Enhance their creativity while working in teams
  • Get insights into and apply the design thinking methodology
  • Improve their presentation skills
  • Get in contact with companies and establish interview skills
  • Apply the technical concepts presented (In-Memory Database technology) to real world use cases


Knowledge of in-memory database technology, either through:


During the block lecture, several team presentations and discussions will be held. The grade of the seminar will be determined by

  • Engagement to discussions, the project and team work, intermediate presentations (30%),
  • Viability, feasibility, and desirability of project results in the final presentation (40%),
  • Documentation of the results (a written report per team - 20 pages LNCS, 30%).

Reading Material

Please familiarize yourself with the general material:

  • A Course in In-Memory Data Management: The Inner Mechanics of In-Memory Databases by Hasso Plattner (please contact Andrea Lange in order to borrow the book for seminar preparation).
  • Book Chapter: Design Thinking by Plattner, H., Meinel, C., Weinberg, U., design THINKING – Innovation lernen, Ideenwelten öffnen. Pages 101-135 (please contact Andrea Lange in order to borrow the book for seminar preparation).
  • David Schwalb, Martin Faust, Jens Krüger, Hasso Plattner: Leveraging In-Memory Technology for Interactive Analyses of Point-of-Sales Data, BDCA in conjunction with ICDE 2014, 2014


Have a look into our gallery to get an impression of the course.